Nigar Sultana named captain of Bangladesh squad for ODI World Cup Qualifiers

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Nigar Sultana Joty 101*, three-fers by Ritu Moni, Nahida Akter help Bangladesh Emerging down South Africa Emerging

Nigar Sultana Joty celebrates a century. © Bangladesh Cricket Board

Bangladesh have announced a 16-member squad to take part in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers 2021 in Zimbabwe beginning on November 21. The 24-year-old Nigar Sultana has been appointed the captain of the One-Day International (ODI) side, replacing Rumana Ahmed, who has been captain since 2016.

After a successful captaincy stint for Bangladesh Emerging against the South Africa Emerging in April 2021, Sultana has been given the responsibility to lead the team in the World Cup Qualifiers. The wicket-keeper batter was instrumental in her side’s 4-0 victory against South Africa Emerging, scoring two centuries in the series.

The squad has a mix of experienced players like Salma Khatun, who leads the team in T20Is, and right-arm pacer Jahanara Alam. Rumana, Bangladesh’s highest run-scorer in ODIs, will give them strength in the middle order along with Sultana and Fargana Hoque. Khadija Tul Kubra, Bangladesh’s joint-highest wicket-taker along with leg-spinner Rumana, will likely support Alam and Salma Khatun in the bowling department. Bangladesh have also added uncapped Fariha Trisna to the squad.

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Bangladesh will play an ODI series against Zimbabwe ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers. The three-match ODI series will begin in Bulawayo from November 11. This will be their first international assignment since the T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. Bangladesh last played an ODI series against Pakistan in November 2019, where a fighting knock from Hoque helped them draw a two-match series.

Bangladesh are slotted in Group B alongside Pakistan, Thailand, the USA, and Zimbabwe. Their opening clash against Pakistan is scheduled for November 21. Every team will play four group stage matches. While the top three teams will join the already qualified five sides in the ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand next year, the next two placed teams will book a place in the next cycle of the ICC Women’s ODI Championship.

Squad: Nigar Sultana (c), Murshida Khatun, Nuzhat Tasnia, Fargana Hoque, Rumana Ahmed, Ritu Moni, Nahida Akter, Salma Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Lata Mondol, Fahima Khatun, Fariha Islam Trisna, Sharmin Akter Supta, Sobhana Mostary, Khadiza-Tul Kubra, Mst Shanjida Akther Maghla.

Standby: Shamima Sultana, Suraiya Azmim